Heavy Metal Reviews

Heavy Metal an Rhein und Ruhr

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Marathonmann - Kein Zurück, Kein Aufgeben

Marathonmann - Kein Zurück, Kein Aufgeben

The Munich Post-Hardcore band Marathonmann is not the ideal band for sitting swaying in the beer tent at the Oktoberfest. Emo, punk and post-hardcore were bundled to a great sound wit the previus two releases. The special feature of the four guys is certainly that they sing in German - MAKE DO AND MEND in German, so to speak.
"Kein Zurück, kein Aufgeben" is the band's new EP. Four generic Marathonmann songs are brought together with three acoustic versions of older tracks. The fans can particularly love the crunchy opener “Wo ein Versprechen noch was wert ist”. The composition rattles out of the boxes in a crunchy, raspy and edgy way. Here and there I am reminded even of the current FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND album "Conduit." An impression which is repeatet with 'Veränderungen' and 'Treffen/Wiedersehen/Weitergehen.” Only 'Camera Obscura' can not keep up with the remaining three new songs.
As a bonus for the "old" fans three well-known numbers have been revised acoustically. These versions you can hear me, but are not a must. “Wenn du dem Teufel die Hand gibst” is no worse than the original in the campfire version and can elicit the song some new facets.
"Kein Zurück, kein Aufgeben" is more than a nice EP for the fans. However, it is quite apparent that they want to make money as long as the hype is still current. But the hype surrounding the Munich band in 2014 will certainly be a lot bigger when the new album will be released.

I Exist - From Darkness

The Australians I EXIST are in fact only for the harder tempers. Sludge, Metal, Crust and Hardcore are mixed into a brew. "From Darkness" is the second album of this band and it seems to have become not a bit tamer.
EYEHATEGOD, BLACK SABBATH, TRAP THEM, (old) Mastodon and Neurosis seem to be the great models of I EXIST. The brutal trip from brute hardness and dirty 70s rock pushes up the listener for almost 52 minutes. Breathers there are few, and even the slower parts are nothing to calm down because of the muddy sound. After alll they are more than consistent in that point.
But I am missing the groove. I think that I EXIST might sound a little grip. Unfortunately the band is, focuses too much on a droning, dark and heavy sound. A bit of variety would have been good for the album. Even passages in which the foot is off the pedal fit the overall impression . That's what makes it so hard to keep the 13 numbers apart. It is not even lacking melodies and choruses really, but I can not find anything to hold on to.
Fans of the bands listed above and those who are in need of no-slip numbers, but rather a challenge will be more than happy with I EXIST. Although the overall picture is very consistent, "From Darkness" does not work with me. However, fans will have a different opinion.

The Gaslight Anthem - Live In London DVD

What a release! Unbelievable but true: A full ten songs are to be found on "Live In London", THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM's first DVD. The two concerts on 29 and 30 March 2013 which were played in the London Troxy hat 23 or 22 songs. A true tour de force of concert DVD!
To me it is frankly almost too stupid to really write many words about this rip-off. Why 12 or 13 numbers are simply missing remains a mystery to me. There is also no bonus material. You get 41 minutes of THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM for full price. Many bonus DVD included on regular albums by other bands have offered more playing time and even complete concerts.
To make it similar short as this DVD: The band plays well through their set, but seems to be nowhere near as nice as a few years ago when I experienced them live. The song selection is naturally scarce and much is missing. I even remember an album called "Sink Or Swim", this DVD does not seem to know the work.
Even die-hard fans should stay away from this rip-off. "Live In London" is one of the weakest DVD releases that I can remember.

Muse - Live From The Rome Olympic Stadium

And on we go with the live albums from the British alternative rock kings of MUSE: Two studio albums are followed by a new concert package for home. The 2002s double CD "Hullabaloo" contained on the, a concert from Paris first CD and on the second disc B-sides and rarities of the then young band. 2008 saw the release of "HAARP", with a record of spectacular gigs from London's Wembley Stadium. 2013 then again a live album, "Live At The Rome Olympic Stadium".
"The Resistance" and "The 2nd Law", the two works that MUSE has released since "HAARP", certainly are good albums, but I have to say that the trio has become too bombastic for my taste. Pomp without end, fat productions, almost every song is designed to stadium rock and somehow good songs are missing. The first four albums were packed with them, maybe the first four. Especially "The 2nd Law" is a decent album, but fails to convince me tsompletely. Perhaps this is also the reason why I enjoyed "HAARP" more than "Live At The Olympic Stadium".
The 13 song strong tracklist (plus seven other numbers on the DVD) focuses heavily on the last two releases. From the undervalued debut "Showbiz" there is nothing to hear, "Origin of Symmetry" and "Absolution" are at least featured with two songs each. Anyone who had similar difficulties with "The 2nd Law" will not be happy with this live work. Who likes MUSE despite or because of the last two outputs, will. The show that Muse presents their fans is gigantic. During 'Panic Station' dancing animated versions of Barack Obama or Angela Merkel appear on the screen. However, unfortunately little else happens on the stage. MUSE plays its gig routinely , but used to have a lot more fire in their early years. Especially singer / guitarist Matt Bellamy was more enthusiastic in the past in the matter: When not singing, he shuffles across the stagealmost as slow as Mick Mars of MÖTLEY CRÜE , making the same face all the way through.
"Live At The Olympic Stadium" is not a must-buy. Who wants to experience MUSE live at home, should be better take care of"HAARP". The new album is made more for the event audience that enjoyed the last two studio releases.

SPIRITZ – Perfect Sides

The Ukrainian band Spiritz is currently looking for a record deal, and chances are good that this will succeed. On the already-recorded debut album, which the band offers on their website for free, not everything sounds perfect, but you can hear the band's enthusiasm and the desire to make their very own music. Compositionally, the music is not worse than those of other new bands, the production can be improved by a bit more professionalism.
The music played by the band is Scandinavian-influenced glam metal and sounds like the defiant happiness in hard times and enjoys a certain claim: Guitar solos which are so important for that style are not missinng and sometimes even remind of various traditional metal bands. Sometimes a keyboard played like a piano is employed for a bit musical depth, the songs themselves sometimes offer quieter moments. This means much variety in the way professionals so, even if truly outstanding goosebump-moments are missing.
Also nice: Although the band sings in English, the vocals in terms of phrasing and intonation act consistently superior - no mean feat in Eastern European bands.
A well worth listening release so by a band that will make its way in case they can keep up the quality.

Text © by Sebastian Berning / Heiko Eschenbach